This year’s Wellness Show was back to its original lustre, coming out of an apprehensive return the year before. This continues to be a great way for all Vancouverites and visitors alike to discover new advances and technology in the world of healthy living and doing what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Attendees were given free reign of the convention floor, pursuing the aisles and stopping to chat up the vendors behind stationed booths. Booths included food vendors providing samples, beauty gurus offering demonstrations, and fitness forward stalls promoting consultations. There was a leak free period panty with no pad or tampons needed, a test of balance for a chance to win a free gym membership, a whole beauty line made out of almonds, and even a pickle ball match for anyone to participate in. Naturally I had to try the latter and attempt this sport for the first time.
I won’t be able to adequately cover the full extent of the convention and its participants, or all that we were able to see and do. However, I will highlight a few of the vendors I found the most interesting and/or their products/brands I already love and can now recommend.
In no particular order, here is my list of top finds at this year’s Wellness Show.
I believe in the power of manifestation and stored energy, and the thought that crystals and naturally occurring gems can hold much of this. Therefore, I was immediately drawn it by Lumen Gem. The artist has combined beautiful semi-precious stones and preserved pieces of nature to create a work of art that can also function as a low-level light source. Stunningly entrancing and sure to bring in the attributes of the featured crystal are any of these one of a kind pieces.
Laser cut gems
Looking for something more playful? At the Mother & Daughter gem booth they cut their stones into cute characters and/or popular pop culture memorabilia. Sailor moon’s crescent wand, Baby Yoda, and Groot at play. They had what looks like over 50 different Pokémon and you can even catch some that glow in the dark.
Bagels needn’t be a bad thing. Give these gluten-free, plant based thin bagels a try and you would not willingly go back to your regular grocery store option after.
One of the tastiest meal replacement bars on the market. More brownie than protein packed square. In flavours like cookie dough and peanut butter you will be having one not only in place of a meal, but another as a regular dessert as well.
I have never had a smoother and creamier plant-based cheese product. It spread and tastes like regular dairy-full cream cheese, especially with the O’Dough’s bagels above. And they also have an amazing American processed cheese-like spread that eats like grilled cheese when in between two toasted slices of bread.
Want chocolate but not all the sugar it contains? Like Reece Pieces cups, but not how sweet they are? Do not accept filler chocolates when you can get quality dark chocolate enrobing peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, or all three with Choxco.
For those looking for a non-alcoholic beer Sober Carpenter makes a mighty fine rendition. If I didn’t know any better, I would swear it had the regular 5-6% ABV. Ideal for those looking to cut back and/or curb the craving. Or for those wanting to join the party, but not have to deal with the effects of it the next day. Take out the alcohol and just enjoy the taste of an IPA, lager, or ale.
Well known for their soy and mushroom meat substitutes, this local award-winning, plant-based company has a new product in their soy-free tofu. Enjoy smoked blocks as is or like with regular tofu, you can whip it into a chocolatey dessert.
My favourite crispy garlic product was also in attendance. Locally prepared and packaged, and available in a 3-pack box set; this is a great hostess gift or one for any foodie. With their mild garlic crisp and chilli oil you can add a scoop to any dish to give it a pop and/or light crunch.
At the Goji booth they had more than just the advertised berries. As a second-generation Chinese immigrant, I do not know how to make traditional Chinese soups and healing broths. But with Goji’s prepackaged kits it is as easy as adding water and sometimes chicken.
Some of the most delicious plantain chips I have every tried. Available in flavours like jalapeño, onion, and garlic. I regretted not taking a couple of bags with me as a great tasting and still health-conscious snack.
There are so many grocery store hummus options available, so how do you pick one out of them all? I have recently tried Fontaine Sante‘s jalapeño hummus with actual spicy jalapeño chunks and was surprised by how fresh it tasted. If scooped out of its plastic container and presented on a dish, I would think this was restaurant made hummus. Sadly, I did not get to try additional flavours to find my favourite out of them all.
There are plant substitutes for most proteins now. Smoked carrots in place of smoked salmon, shredded and marinaded jackfruit in place of pulled pork, and now chia seeds in place of caviar. I never thought to have a plant-based option for the typically briny and fishy product, but here it is. Great for plant-based individuals and restaurants to use as an elevated garnish or accent to any dish. Definitely my favourite find, and the one that had me walking away and thinking about it long after.
In closing, The Wellness Show continues to be a great resource and a great way to discover new products and methods for helping maintain your ideal healthy lifestyle. If you missed this one, be sure to look out for it next February. I am sure there will be new options and discoveries in the world of healthy living by then.